The first time I really saw and played in snow was at 22 years old on my first trip to Lake Tahoe. I’ve seen snow before, but never up close. For those who think that’s strange I grew up in Hawaii and never traveled much growing up. I thought it was strange when in college I met people who have never been to the beach.
I remember playing in the snow, building a snowman and making snow angels. My roommate was embarrased because a grown man was acting like a little kid. Probably because I also peed in the snow, yeah I’m that guy. That was my first experience in a snow storm with snow chains.
I’ve had many firsts, first time I went to Vegas and could legally gamble, first time I went on spring break, first time I met up in Vegas with friends from many states, first time I went overseas, and the list goes on and on. I believed in YOLO and never wanted to miss out, hey I’m only in my 20s once. At my work we usually shut down the last two weeks in December, everyone goes on vacation or spend time with their families. That’s usually an expensive time of year between Christmas presents and going on vacation with friends. It didn’t matter if I couldn’t afford it, I would charge it and carry a balance for 2-3 months. Once I got my bonus I would just that debt off, then I planned for my next vacation with my tax refund money. It’s like Christmas coming twice a year!
Never wanted to miss dinner with friends, going on trips or various parties. Life is full of experiences that I didn’t want to miss out on. To pay for this lifestyle I put nothing in my retirement for the first two years, and 5% in for the next two years. I couldn’t afford to live like this and expect to save for retirement. There were so many firsts that I wanted to experience and not miss out on. First time I went to an underground party, first time I went to a concert with 50,000 people. Now when I look back I don’t even remember half of the “experiences” I wasted my money on.
When I lived in the moment I thought all these firsts I was experiencing was so important. What I failed to realize was that life is full of firsts, if I miss out on an event today tomorrow there are many more great experiences. We don’t have kids yet but I’m looking forward to have my first child, teaching them to walk, taking them to school, having a first birthday. Looking forward to my first celebratory dinner with my niece when she graduates from college. My first time hosting family from another state that I havent seen for years.
Life is much easier knowing that if you can’t afford to do something today, you’re not really missing out because there are so many other wonderful moments still waiting to happen. The next time you see friends doing things on Facebook and you’re in debt or can’t afford to go out, don’t worry because you’re looking forward to being debt free for the first time. For those who aren’t in debt you should be looking forward to be the first of your family for early financial independence.
Do you agree that life is full of firsts? Are there any firsts in life that you’re looking forward to?